CAVRA – Background.
CAVRA was born as a result of an incident that occurred during the storms and floods that affected South Wales at the end of October 1998. This prompted me to see if there was any sort of back up for the emergency services during such incidents, after speaking to Ambulance, Coastguard, Fire, Police, as well as Emergency Planning Officers etc., I came to the conclusion that there was none. Obviously, such an organisation would not be commercially viable, but a volunteer organisation had many benefits. After considerable discussions with a wide range of people, I approached the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services (VCVS) (Now Glamorgan Voluntary Services (GVS) in Barry, as a result the Cardiff and Vale Rescue Association (CAVRA), was born. (The name was changed to the Civil Aid Voluntary Rescue Association (CAVRA) in November 2013).
Due to the low number of call outs for missing persons, and assistance in Cardiff Bay, we decided to concentrate our efforts of Water Rescue, with several members becoming either First Responders (Water), and other Swift and Flood Water Rescue Technicians, and Water Aware. These have now expanded their skills, we currently have 10 Swift Water Rescue Technicians (SRT’S), of which 4 have Rescue from Vehicle qualifications, and 5 have Swift and Flood Water Rescue Boat Operators certificates. CAVRA is currently a “B” type team (7-man team with a POWERED Boat).
We are part of the DEFRA National Asset register, and form part of the National response to flooding incidents, providing assistance locally, regionally or nationally, and have attended incidents in the Vale of Glamorgan, and at the Somerset levels. CAVRA was established to provide assistance during: - Searches for Missing Persons on Land and Water, Adverse Weather conditions such as Storms, Floods, Snow, and Drought etc. Civil Contingencies. All our services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and are free of charge; however, donations are always welcome! We raise funds by covering a variety of local events including races, rowing and music, parades across the area. CAVRA is currently in discussion with local Police forces and resilience fora to see how best we can move forward and provide extended services to communities. For further information visit www.cavra.org.uk.